For all the joy that a hamster brings to your life, it also brings a lot of poop. Since hamsters are poop machines, it may take some work to keep them and their habitat clean. Plus, good hygiene will prevent your little furry friend from infecting you with diseases.
You might be wondering whether hamsters can be potty trained. First of all, yes, they can! Secondly, it’s a lot easier than you may think. Hamsters are clean by nature, and they’re bright animals. Since it’s in their nature to poop in one place, your hamster can quickly become potty-trained with some Pavolv-inspired conditioning.
When it comes to litter boxes for your hamster, there are two broad categories. First, you can DIY. That is, making a litter box from the supplies available in your house right now. The second category is going online to order a ready-made litter box. Trust us, your hamster won’t notice the difference.
If you go for the DIY route, it’ll be much cheaper, but you’ll need to follow some rules. If you buy it online, it’ll be much faster, but you’ll need to pay a little money. Either way, you’ll have to train your hamster to use the litter box.
Under both categories, you’ll have several options. For example, a DIY litter box for hamsters could be a ceramic or glass dish that you no longer use. On the other hand, most litter boxes you order online will be plastic.
By far, a ceramic dish is the best option to make a homemade potty for your hamster. You don’t need any other supplies for this box. You can simply place it in the right corner and add some used substrate to give your hamster a signal to do its business there.
If a ceramic dish isn’t available, you can also try a glass bowl. The steps aren’t too different. First, place the glass potty where the hamster usually does its business. You may need to add some of the old, dirty bedding to the glass bowl. After the hamster gets used to the spot, it’ll almost be second nature for it to potty there.
Cardboard boxes are also a suitable hamster litter box material. You can use it as a training ground before you upgrade to something more sophisticated. However, it tends to soak up urine and create a smelly mess. Plus, you’ll need to make sure your hamster doesn’t chew on it.
In all cases, ensure that the litter box is large enough to fit the animal.
Investing in the Critter Litter Small Pet Training Kit can help you cut the training time short. The box is large enough to accommodate most sizes, so your hamster will find it easier to adapt to using it. The kit also comes with clips to secure the potty to a wire cage, so you can avoid spilling waste and making a mess.
When it’s time to clean, you can easily detach the litter box, wash it, and put it back in place. After that, you can add the substrate to the potty to signal your hamster. Imagine how frustration-free the training can be for both you and your hamster.
Plus, it’s chew-proof compared to other plastic materials on the market, so you can rest assured that your hamster won’t start chewing it instead of using it for potty.
All in all, the training kit can be an enormous step towards getting your hamster potty-trained without having to do much work. So, if you’re looking for durability, cleanliness, and accessibility, a ready-made potty could be a significantly better option.
Whether you take the DIY or online route, the training steps are pretty much the same. So, with your litter box ready for use, you can start the training immediately.
The first step is to observe your hamster’s bathroom habits. You may notice that your hamster tends to do its business in one particular corner of its cage. Identify which corner that is because it’s where you should place the litter box.
Avoid making the mistake of placing the litter box and expecting the hamster to know what to do instinctively. In fact, this is where the training comes in. You will need to fill the litter box with some of the hamster’s droppings and urinated litter.
Using its sense of smell, the hamster will know this is the place to do its business. But if that doesn’t happen, you can move the hamster to the litter box with your hand. However, be careful not to spoil your furry friend’s nest while doing so.
Sometimes, the hamster won’t pick up the habit quickly. It may take some time to get used to the new litter box. It’s normal for the hamster to avoid jumping into the litter box in the beginning. If it’s still not using it, keep putting its waste inside the litter box. Consistency is key!
After a few days, your hamster will get the hint and start using the litter box. It may take some patience on your part to see it through. However, the hamster should begin using its litter box with some training. Once the hamster establishes the new habit, you can sit down and relax.
It’s best to clean the litter box at least once a week. Cleanliness will help the hamster stay healthy. In the first few weeks, you may need to keep adding waste to the litter box until the hamster knows it by instinct. It’s okay if your hamster does number one but not number two inside the litter box. If that happens, keep training it as in the above steps.
The previous training program works for most species of hamsters. But if your hamster still does not pick up the training, here are a few issues to look out for:
The ideal hamster habitat should be spacious, with a place to sleep, hide, and play. So, what do you do if your hamster starts using the litter box as a bed? If your hamster does that, you should probably look into having a separate space for sleeping.
Again, this might be an issue with a small enclosure. Hamsters tend to hide their food instinctively. It’s a built-in habit and is impossible to eliminate without training. If your hamster is hiding food in the litter box, look for a larger cage so it can have room to store food.
Average litter may cause an allergic reaction to your furry friend, so look for hamster-friendly litter. You could also replace the bedding with something more suited for hamsters.
The California Hamster Association recommends Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding. Additionally, if the cage is too cramped, it could make the hamster feel anxious, and it may start behaving strangely by eating the litter box or even its bodily waste. Either provide ample space for the litter box or upgrade to a larger cage.
Rewarding your hamster for developing healthy toilet habits could also encourage it to maintain them. However, if it does not become litter-trained within a few days, hold on to your patience. It may take some work, but it will be worth it in the end. In conclusion, you can use this potty training as an opportunity to bond with your pet and teach it how to behave.
Meta description: Although slightly different from training a cat, you can easily potty train a hamster. So, if you want to keep your hamster clean and healthy, keep reading.